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Orphan Week - 8 to 14 February 2010

The Oori is home to the training centre of SOS Villages, an organisation founded in 1982 to care for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. The care is provided regardless of race, nationality or religion, by giving them a loving ‘family’, a permanent home and a sound basis for an independent adult life.

Myrna Thomas of SOS has appealed to friends and neighbours to do something "WOW" for orphans during this special week.

Raising awareness for World Orphan Week is the world’s largest children’s charity SOS Children’s Villages. World Orphan Week, otherwise known as WOW, is an upbeat initiative to do something ‘wow’ and highlight the plight of orphaned and abandoned children.


Leigh Swartz, Fund Development Manager for SOS Children’s Villages South Africa said: “WOW is celebrated annually across five countries and we’re excited to introduce the concept of dressing up in something wow to raise money for the children of SA.” Wearing feathers or something fun is all that is required to make a difference for the children, “We’re expecting South African’s to embrace the concept as a unique way to fundraise while having lots of fun doing it,” said Swartz.

An astonishing statistic quoted by SOS International indicates that every 2.2 seconds, a child loses a parent due to war, poverty, natural disaster, disease, AIDS and other such causes. This staggering realisation leaves us with approximately 133 million children who have lost one or both parents; of which 15 million have been orphaned due to the AIDS pandemic. Providing for children such as these in South Africa is the eight villages and three social centres set up by SOS. The villages currently supports over 6 500 children providing them with ‘families’, homes, and an education. The SOS international organisation cares directly for more than 70,000 children in 123 countries globally.

As a result of the growing orphan crisis in Southern Africa SOS South Africa has expanded beyond its village operations to develop sustainable community-based family strengthening programmes. These programmes aim to assist and support vulnerable children without removing them from their natural family environment. “A characteristic example of where the family strengthening programme is working well is with the many grandparent-headed households,” said Swartz. This community care naturally extends to the families caring for the many susceptible children in our country.

Causing a stir for World Orphan Week is a small but significant way to reach more vulnerable children,
“We’re already hearing about people planning their WOW wardrobe – so join in and don a fabulously loud tie, or get dressed up in full evening wear or even decorate your shoes – just make sure it shouts wow!” said Swartz. The suggestion is a collective group donation of R5 per participant, to be donated to SOS South Africa or any other children’s home via direct deposit or an EFT.

Will the Oori dress up and be WOW!?